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Wednesday, 28 May 1969

Senator LITTLE - I would not suggest that it is high, but at least it is less risky from the Labor Party's point of view. At least they are getting some legal advice. I know that in my own embarrassing situation it was difficult to explain to the children that really the criticism, coming from the personalities involved in the programme, was a form of flattery of me; it did not hurt me at all. I have been in the political game too long.

That was an occasion on which the Broadcasting and Television Act fell far short of what is necessary to protect tha rights of individuals in the community. I am sure Senator McClelland would agree with that. When I rang the radio station and asked for a copy of the script of the session 1 was told that one was not available or that it had been lost. I knew that the 'Age' newspaper in Victoria monitors the programme fairly regularly. I rang the newspaper office and asked whether the session was monitored. I was told that even over the telephone I could not be told what was said about me because it was too highly libellous. I did not pursue the matter. I was not intent on obtaining evidence. I let it go at that. It seems to me that the rights of individuals should be protected against this kind of thing.

It is all right to say that this can happen in reply to questions asked by commentators or when people are speaking on a direct telephone line. In this instance the person concerned was Mr Carey who at that time was President of the Labor Party. The Hon. Douglas Elliot, who was a member of the Victorian Legislative Council, was another on the programme. A gentleman by the name of Mr Wyndham - who I understand recently changed his employment from Secretary of the New South Wales Branch of the ALP, having previously been the Federal Secretary of the Party - was also on the programme. At the time about which I am speaking he was the Victorian State Secretary. Possibly he will not be appearing on 'The Labor Hour' any more. I think that in view of the criticism levelled at specific programmes in the course of this debate the Senate should note that there are extreme cases - far more extreme than those referred to already - when things are broadcast that should never be broadcast under the terms of the Act. The Act should give more protection to individuals under these circumstances.

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